Monday, December 22, 2008

it's not even Christmas yet!!

The Anderson side celebrated a few days early--scheduling is tricky now a days. We began with caroling at the Pacific Coast Care Center--great idea Heather. The kids were adorable--their best performed song was Jingle Bells. Everyone was filled with the Christmas Spirit. Then we headed to my home to be filled with Christmas Dinner. My pretzel jello salad was a good attempt. Then we finished off with a few fun toys and just enjoyed each other a whole heck of a lot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the stockings were hung . . .

This is what I get when I ask for them to stand by their stockings. yep, Caden refused but that was one battle I chose to lose. I'm just thrilled we got them all to pose for the fam holiday pic.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More festive fun!

All but Ray Ray enjoyed seeing Santa at our friends party. After getting her "wuff wuff" from him we approached (her in my arms) told him bye bye and blew kisses. Kendra was prompted to ask Santa for a new house, Caden muttered something we couldn't understand and Brady well . . . same as Caden, good thing Santa understands Toddlerese. I've got a hunch Caden would enjoy a large stuffed unicorn. thank you Turtle (a fellow lineman friend of Jared) and his wife Dani for your annual Santa arriving--kid craft--good grub Christmas party.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Let the Holiday HOOPLA begin!

With the ever so anticipated holidays here, this year I have already enjoyed the excitement of my children. The kids being so young, you never know how much they comprehend and what they feel about Christmas and it's wonderful meaning. We are trying to focus on the sacred event--so Caden calling it the "Baby Jesus Show" will just have to do for now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My first Turkey Day post!

What is not to love about a day dedicated to food and your blessings. Oh sure the whole pilgrim thing is cool too but I think society has done a wonderful job with commercializing this holiday--it is much to my liking. Our Thanksgiving started with the Anderson 15 gathering in my home and Rodney, Karen & Nicholas joining us. Balloon fun kept the children happy while the cooking team finished prep. After gorging ourselves I made all the family do the whole gratitude tradition but Jared turned it into a fun game where we all annonomously wrote down our fave blessing and then we all guessed who said what. Lots of laughs and we all felt good after a nice brisk walk down trail 41 in our back yard. It turned out to be a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am a TROTTING TURKEY--yea for my first 5K race!

Cute Cute Stephanie asked me to run the "Turkey Trot 5K" (3 miles) with her--I accepted the challenge even though I had much self doubt--this being my first race. Steph & Sheila were super supportive and made this so so fun. It was a chilly morning run down the scenic coastline of Santa Cruz. We did it-- I ran every step. Jared & Ann rallied the troops & headed down to be the cutest cheerleading section ever. I'm sure I will never forget turning that first corner on the course, seeing my precious family jump up & down & smiling with such excitement. As I passed them I could hear Caden's ever so sweet chant of "Go Mommy, Go Mommy!" Number 336 didn't win the race but I felt like a HUGE winner in a whole different way.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friend or Sister? you tell me

I grew up with 2 brothers. Tonight I went out with a couple friends. When I came home I told Jared what a great time I had. I said, "These girls are like my best friends ever, (no offense to all my other bffs) Jared chuckled and said, "You always say that"--I quickly replied, "Ok no, they're like my sisters". So I ask you--what's the difference? I kinda feel like the baby sister in this trio. Miss Tammie, Sista Jenny and I spent a week in the woods with 21 silly wonderful amazing young women. But come on, it was the WILDERNESS with no husbands or electricity etc--good thing we are such outdoorswomen!! major ha ha Girls Camp bonds us for life but it goes much deeper than that, and I'm so lucky to realize this blessing after our awesome dinner out. When we 3 goofballs get together we disclose a lot of personal stuff. I revealed a couple major life changing moments and they lifted me up and supported me in such a loving way, it felt more than just a friendship to me. I don't know what it's like to have a sister but right now it doesn't matter since I've realized the quality of connection I have with the right people in my life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh yeah, we went to Disneyland!!

The much anticipated trip to the Happiest Place on Earth--courtesy of Big Papa. The VonForell 17 member mob of us wound ourselves thru both parks and had an absoulute blast. Us Andersons were so glad that all 6 returned to each other safely each night. These 41 pix capture most of the moments but I'm so glad we have the coutless memories that we do.
We were lucky to have Roxi as a tour guide and Dan as a photographer for the trip. There's nothin' like spending time with my wacky bruddas and their crazy kids. Thank you so so SO much mom and dad for the great idea, the wonderful arrangements and for the SUPER supervision on this most loved VoFo outing to date.

Friday, November 7, 2008

We FINALLY have a diagnosis for Caden!!!

It's been a long 3&1/2 years of questions and concerns for our oldest son Caden. We've been referred to different specialists througout this journey and we have found one who (in my humble opinion) knew what he was doing and more importantly what Caden was doing and why. Yesterday at 3:00p.m. after hundreds (literally) of insightful questions on Caden's behavior, Dr. Herrera concluded, "He is definetly Autistic". I don't think I will ever forget that moment--it wasn't exactly what I had expected to hear. Jared and I were both leaning towards Asperger's Syndrome--that is an Autism Spectrum Disorder--differing with it's symptoms and neurological causes. Caden is HFA (high functioning), his academics and motor skills are stellar, but the speech delay, sensory issues--that's a big one for him, and his social set backs are clear indicators of Autism. Who would think that his fascination with fans, twirling my hair, watching a square of toilet paper float down and spontanious recitations would be Autistic qualties? So now what--you might ask? Sensory Integration Therapy, more intensive speech therapy, occupational therapy and social play groups are the directives from the child pshycologist. Several doors have already opened; our heads are just swimming with information and our hearts are flooded with emotion. Jared & I have always known that Caden is a very special spirit that was sent to us for a very special reason. We are so excited and relieved to not be lost in the "GRAY" anymore! We are anxious to get him the help he needs. Now when I look at his sweet face I hope he feels this lyric to a new favorite song of mine: "You know you're perfect to me".

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm Halloweened OUT--& Halloween is tomorrow!!

Decorating the house and garage, costume shopping, costume sewing (believe it or not), pumpkin patch picking, pumpkin painting, preparing/building the spook alley, baking spooky treats, getting in costume for the carnival, attending the carnival, trunk or treating, and costuming up again for the boys party at Rosie's--can you say EXAUSTING!?!
I vow to myself that I will NOT allow themed costumes to stress me out next year. Goldilocks and the 3 bears is a cute idea--my follow thru was accurate but I never allowed for the anarchy from Caden to spoil my perfection. I love him to death but it has been challenging--and it's not even Halloween day yet!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Silly, Delicious Halloween Fun!!

It's time for Jared & Laur's couples Halloween Party. We love our friends--espcially when they dress up and cook for us. After everone's animated arrivals we enjoyed the "NOUN GAME"--by the way I think quotes are nonuns--hehe, scarffed down yummy food, and cast the most importatnt votes this year for the costume contest.
The big winners were Dave & Cindy, Mike & Melanie, Lance & Amy, Micah & Cheryl and apparently Jared & I were the cutest couple--at least for that night. Dessert was divine which revved us up for a "friendly" game of husbands vs. wives Pictionary. Bottom Line: men cheat and women try to only after the men start the cheating. It was a great time, Jared summed it up by saying that we are lucky that we have great friends.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Off the hook at ABDC Live!!!

So excited I pulled this surprise off for Jared--even Kendra & Tom kept the secret. Believe it or not: America's Best Dance Crew is the ONLY reality show we can agree on so I had to get tix to see our favorite group the Jabbawokeez.
It was an AWESOME show--tons of great dancing-- now is it normal for 2 grown adults to get choked up at something like this? Oh . . . well hey we love those boys in the masks and the white gloves.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Perfect Portraits--if i do say so myself.

Picture day at school inspired me to get a real shot of each child: CLOSE to perfection--gotta be a little humble right?! "they're growing up so fast" -- i know you were thinking that!!

Bucket Rides $5 each--or FREE since we love ya!!

one of the perks to the job--Kendra and Caden were excited to take a WAY HIGH ride in the SKY. mommy went too but with jared & i both up there, i saw visions of 4 little orphans and we hurried down--but it was cool I must say. What else are ya gonna do in between conference sessions? thanks PG&E!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"To make the world right"--Narnia

It seems around every corner is another life changing moment that makes the world right for our family. What a beautiful blessing it was to have Kendra participate in the the Stake Play: Narnia.
Kendra's part was a "Secret Sprite" her big part (besides the group numbers) was skipping around singing "Joy for Joy" then the witch stops them, Kendra says her 4 sentence line and then gets turned to stone--I smell an Emmy. We actually were quite impressed with her facial expressions. All I know is it was totally worth the time committment and mommy-helper hours (I just remember a lot of sprinting, searching, and shhhussshhhing). Friends & family were totally impressed with the play and we are so appreciative to Gail & Ariel Theatrics for their unbelievable talent and resources. We'll miss our little Narnia family.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Exponentially the most EXCITING experience ever--and we are buying a jet ski!!

Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite and jet skiing on Bass Lake was way more CRAZY FUN than we could've even DREAMED of. Jared (Huck Finn as I called him all day) & I are so proud of each other and so grateful we were able to escape and experience the 2 coolest activities we've ever tried.
Let me just give a a l'il recap: 4:30 a.m. started our 16 hour day in Yosemite This famous killer hike starts with switchbacks that are purely uphill and neverending. You finally reach Nevada Falls after 4.2 miles. We took in the scenery, I gagged down a couple bites of a PowerBar--yuck and off to the next part. The path turns to a sandy trail for a mile or so, then just more and MORE climbing uphill-remember all this is pretty dang steep. Just as you're getting tired of ascending, it's time for the big stone steps, i don't know how many there are but it was 30 minutes of super steep steps. Then we rested ate our beloved banana chips, gloved up and began the overwhelming cable climb. The pix almost do these justice but not quite. Jared was a great cheerleader since I was close to crying out of fear--only close--I held it together great I must say. The cables for me were much harder on my nerves than my arms. My fingers have never CLINCHED on to something so tight--same for the descend--I gave a whole new dimention to the word SQUEEZING but wow, accomplishing that crazy of a climb is absolutely astonishing--hard to believe we just did that: 8.2 miles so much uphill, steps and cables!!! YAHOOOOOOO!!!! Being on top at 8,800+ feet of rock is so stinking nuts!! We soaked it all in, took a break, and then started the same 8.2 miles down--sounds easier but in some ways it was harder. But we did it, we made it, we had a blast and most importantly (next to safety) we loved each other the whole way and we were so happy and proud for one another. As far as doin' the wave runner I can sum it up by saying that we have planned to purchase our own 3 seater for our family for next summer. We both took turns drivin' at top speed of 72 miles per hour--yeah crazy huh? Let me tell ya there is nothin' like hittin' bumps at 60mph! I remember just screamin' "yeah baby and rock on freaky bro" and just laughin' and lovin it. Jared of course loved it but we all knew he would hence the big purchase he will make.